A comment over at Guido's place, which raises an interesting question or two.‘we are legally completely powerless to reject Lisbon.’Hmm. And if we did? I can hear the bullhorn now, ‘OK Britain, this is the EU police, come out with your hands up, we have got the whole place surrounded!!’.
If this country ever grew a pair and we simply ignored them, and more importantly stopped giving them 45 million quid a DAY, they would soon get bored and sod off. We are only stuck in the EU if we keep playing their silly game.
EHCR, for example, which we all know is separate from the EU, told Britain to stop storing innocent people's DNA - the (Labour) government said they would do what they want, and ignored the ruling, even though EHCR's Human Rights legislation is enshrined in British law (at least Mrs R thinks it is).
Nothing happened. As far as we know there have been no sanctions - Britain could choose to do what it wanted.
So, if British people truly thought they would be better off outside the EU, and if the British government of the day decided to go along with the idea - what would happen? What, actually could, and would, the EU try to do to a country that decides to opt out, decides to secede from the Union and go it alone?
Would they try to make us pay massive fines? - If so, who will enforce them?
Would they try to stop trading with us? - Trade embargo? Who will enforce it - and the rest of the world is very big!
Would they block travel routes? - How?
Would we have tanks and guns rolling through the tunnel, or would the EU military try to surround us, and make us surrender? - That's been tried before, it failed.
Actually, let's look at the military. There's all this lot :-
European Union battlegroups (EUBG)
European Union Military Staff (EUMS)
European Gendarmerie Force
Mrs Rigby found all these with a little help from Wikipedia. She notes that none of these 'forces' includes all nations of the EU, and none are allowed to do anything unless there's been a committee meeting of some sort.
So, no real problem there then, which just leaves posturing politicians and their warlike words and threats.
So, come on somebody in charge of a political party.
Mrs Rigby issues you a challenge.
The Berlin Wall came down and CCCP/USSR was broken up, so why can't Britain leave the EU?
Who's up for it?
(As an aside, there are hints that some US states are either thinking about, or are preparing to, secede from the union - Texas, Maryland, Vermont, Alaska - are all mentioned, but the reality is that they probably won't do anything, at least not in Mrs Rigby's lifetime.)